Boston cruises give you a fun and memorable way to view the city from the water, plus experience other exciting sights you'd get to see close-up from land: whales and dolphins, historic lighthouses, some of the more distant Harbor Islands, and even the close-up thrill of tall ship sails snapping in the breeze.
Most of Boston's river and harbor cruises do double-duty, letting you sightsee from a unique perspective while you enjoy a gourmet dinner or lunch, learn about the architecture and history of waterfront buildings from the on-board guides, visit Cape Cod and Provincetown, and see famous sights such as the Bunker Hill Monument and the famous War of 1812 battleship, the USS Constitution.
So pick your cruise, and get ready for an unforgettable experience!
Photo credit: Cruise boat on a sightseeing tour around Boston Harbor
1. Whale Watching Cruises from Boston
As your whale watching cruise boat whisks you 25 miles east of Boston to Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, you'll enjoy city skyline views and the beautiful Harbor Islands.
Although the cruise out to Stellwagen Bank is spectacular, once you're there, the real fun begins as you watch the whales, dolphins, other sea mammals, birds, and fish come close to your boat.
Not surprisingly, lots of Boston visitors consider these cruises to be the most exciting part of their trip to Boston.
Boston Harbor cruises offer you a fun way to appreciate the city's most important historic sites, see the Harbor Islands, and enjoy city skyline views from the water.
If you have a special maritime interest, such as lighthouses or tall ships, Boston probably has a Harbor cruise that specializes in it. In addition, other cruises offer added entertainment, such as gourmet lunches and dinners, music and dancing, sunsets and romance.
Most Harbor cruises last from about 45 minutes to 2 or 3 hours. This means that even if you only have a small amount of time, you may still be able to fit one into your schedule.
Boston Harbor Cruises on the Northern Lights & Adirondack III
From historic sightseeing cruises to cruises with live music to special holiday cruises, the Northern Lights yacht and tall shipAdirondack III offer lots of Boston Harbor tour choices:
Northern Lights Cruises:
Brunch Cruise - Savor a delicious 3-course brunch on this relaxing sightseeing cruise around Boston Harbor
Sunday Evening Jazz Cruise - End your weekend on the perfect note by grooving to live jazz as you watch the ever-changing sunset colors as the sun sets behind Boston's city skyline
Winter City Lights Cruise - Unwind on this 1-hour cruise with soothing classical music in the background, perhaps a tasty drink in your hand, and city lights sparking all around you
Winter Sunset Cruise - Grab a cocktail and apps from the bar and then relax as you watch the sun set on this sail around the Harbor, just in time to catch the USS Constitution fire its cannons as the sun dips down past the horizon
Live Irish Music Cruise - Get ready for fun on this rockin' Celtic cruise with a live Irish band playing classic Boston Irish songs, traditional Irish tunes, top hits, and your requests
Going on a Boston dinner cruise - or lunch or brunch cruise - is a favorite with visitors and locals. Not only do you get
to enjoy a delicious gourmet meal, but you'll also have a memorable voyage around the Harbor or Charles River and see gorgeous scenery.
On some Boston dinner cruises, you'll even enjoy DJs and dancing - or perhaps celebrate a special occasion such as Mother's Day or New Year's Eve.
Because of the size of the luxury vessels used for the dinner cruises, they happen year-round, regardless of the weather.
Hop on a Boston Harbor Islands cruise, and in only 15 minutes, you can be in another world.
The Harbor Island National Park Area includes 32 islands and 2 coastal peninsulas in Boston's Inner and Outer Harbors. You'll find a rich assortment of activities sponsored by local groups, a 19th century fort to explore, sandy beaches, hiking trails, campgrounds, and some of the best views of the Boston skyline.
Speed, spinning turns, loud rock music blaring from 30 on-board speakers, and the crew's comic routine involving pirates and mutant cod make Codzilla the wildest ride in the Harbor.
The Codzilla cruise is notfor the faint of heart - but if you're looking for a unique cruise experience that combines sightseeing with fun - and you don't mind getting wet - this may be the Boston Harbor tour for you.
The romance of billowing white sails against blue skies . . . the excitement of being on an actual tall ship, a windjammer schooner that's a replica of mid-19th century Baltimore clippers . . . the adventure of exploring coastlines and open waters . . .
You'll get all of this and much more on a sailing cruise on Boston's own tall ships - the Adirondack III and the Liberty Fleet. You'll also find plenty of specialty cruises on these magnificent tall ships - Champagne cruises, sunset cruises, sightseeing tours of the coastline. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your memorable tall ship experience.
Check out all our tips on how to find discounts, deals, and promo codes for Boston hotels. Whether you're looking for bargain accommodations or want to pay less for luxury, we'll show you How to Save on Hotels in Boston.